By SEBASTIN OBASI & ONYEGBADUE AMAMDI
Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region has been listed among the top 10 most polluted places in the world.
The report also placed the people of the region among the 200 million in the world at high risk of being affected by toxic chemicals, according to a report.
Nigeria’s listing follows a recent report by Blacksmith Institute, and Green Cross, The World’s Worst 2013: The Top Ten Toxic Threats.
According to the report, accessed by Vanguard: “The strikingly high number of people at risk established toxic pollution as a public health threat equivalent to more highly publicised public health problems such as malaria and tuberculosis.
“Even though toxic pollution remains a far less well-known problem, it is believed to have a similar impact on death and disability in developing countries (of which Nigeria is one) as many well-known and well-funded diseases.”
The 2013 report, which is the 8th in an annual series by Green Cross and Blacksmith Institute, also looked at the cleanup, progress and ongoing challenges.
Verdict on Niger Delta
The report said the Niger Delta is heavily polluted by oil and hydrocarbons as it has been the site of major petroleum operations since the late 1950s.
The report also stated that as at 2012, about two million barrels of oil were extracted from the Niger Delta every day. Groundwater said the soil has been heavily polluted in the process, which devastated aquatic and agricultural communities.